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Tudor Minute August 14: Happy Birthday Margaret Pole

Today in 1473 Margaret Pole was born. She was a Yorkist princess, the daughter of Edward IV’s brother George, the Duke of Clarence. Her life was one big roller coaster of rising up and down. First she was a Yorkist princess. Then when the Tudors won, she was on the wrong side and her brother was killed as collateral damage by Henry VII. She rose again through marriage, and became a Countess in her own right. But thanks to her children who weren’t very polite or grateful, she found herself accused of treason, and at almost 70 years old she was beheaded by Henry VIII.

Margaret Pole is an example of the way the wheel of fortune could raise you up, and then plunge you down again just as quickly. As a Countess in her own right she lived as a medieval lord and ran her estates without a husband, and that is one reason she is an interesting woman to study.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where there is a recent episode on Margaret Pole.